John Calipari -- Runway to the Fashionable 4 -- 2008 San Antonio, TX

 

 
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April 6, 2008

DAY 6: THE FASHIONABLE 4 RESULTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

 

Seth Greenberg -- Runway to the Fashionable 4 -- 2008 San Antonio, TX

The long and winding runway to the Fashionable 4 concludes today, with the national semi-finals and fashion finales in both the head coach and assistant coach tournaments. Based on the early returns, 2008 has been a banner year for the Runway competition and there is no reason to think that next year won’t even be bigger, especially if I am covering the event.

BO RYAN: “Normally I might be a little upset with someone saying I look like a Badger, but not in this arena. The Runway to the Fashionable 4 has really grown into something we can all have fun with. However I am not sure I would have picked Seth Greenberg to cover the event. How did he advance to the Fashionable 4?”

Coach, you’re killing me. I absolutely deserve a spot in the Fashionable 4. As I have said on numerous occasions during the tournament, style is not something you can walk into a clothier and simply buy. It’s something you either have or don’t have. It’s not available for purchase.

While I don’t agree with Coach Ryan’s thoughts on my wardrobe, I do agree that the Runway to the Fashionable 4 has really provided coaches and fans with something to have a lot of fun with. Once the tournament begins, that competitive element suddenly emerges. We all want to win.

And I plan on bringing a title back to Blacksburg, VA.


HEAD COACH NATIONAL SEMI-FINALS

Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech) vs. Kerry Keating (Santa Clara)

JAY BILAS: “Greenberg's place in the Fashionable Four is the equivalent of Cal Tech beating Memphis, Kansas, UNC and UCLA to reach San Antonio. I have been impressed that Seth has been able to mix and match his one suit with his three ties and four shirts to make it appear that he has so many different looks. Greenberg’s closet looks much like that of Jeff Goldblum’s in “The Fly.” Greenberg is so refreshing in his sameness, but has no shot against a well coifed youngster whose waist size is less than his age.”

Those comments come from the king of simplicity. I am insulted that my wardrobe is actually being questioned. Perhaps Bilas would like a recount? As for Keating, he is just another step on my stroll down the runway to fashion glory.

KERRY KEATING: “Hey Seth, Coach Rick Pitino has sent me some pocket squares that cost more than some of your suits. Talk about someone being in uncharted waters. You are really out of your element. This is Seth Greenberg we're talking about. Seth Greenberg!”

KERMIT DAVIS: “Seth should remember that I was coaching in the Big West Conference, when he was at Long Beach State. He improved his wardrobe dramatically when he started getting those ACC paychecks. He was the King of polyester in his days at Long Beach.”

First of all, Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee) got beat in the first round by the guy with the orange sweater, Bruce Pearl. It’s not advisable to rip others, when you can’t even style your way to one victory on the runway.

Second, Keating is confused. He took the job at Santa Clara because he thought it was the Santa Clara Bronx. It’s the Broncos not “A Bronx Tale.” Even Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri can’t help Keating.

For the much-anticipated announcement of my advancement, I have asked CollegeInsider.com’s Ms. Angela Lento to read the result.

ANGELA LENTO: “Sorry Seth. Kerry is victorious.”

Jay Wright (Villanova) vs. Gary Waters (Cleveland State)

I am still stunned that I was beaten by the fashion fraud that is Kerry Keating, but I plan on fulfilling my obligation as host of this event so I will continue with the results. That was a very poor job with the announcement Angela.

Next up we have George Clooney against the classic and elegant Gary Waters. It’s been a stroll in the park for Jay Wright to get to the Fashionable 4, but he actually has some tough competition today.

JAY BILAS: “Wright has more pocket squares than career wins, and when he puts in an order for dress shoes, the crocodile is immediately goes onto the endangered species list.”

Bilas, who likes to sport the one-fold pocket square, would lead you to believe that Clooney borrowed that look from him, ESPN’s version of Cary Grant. As for Clooney, nobody is a bigger supporter of his advancement, but I think he will need more then just a variety of pocket squares.

JAY BILAS: “Jay Wright is the UCLA of the Wooden era in this competition. The wives of fellow coaches swoon when Wright enters a room, much like they do when their husbands leave a room. Wright has huge dress shoes, and you know what that means...a huge alligator had to die. If Wright has a good back waxing before the voting, Waters stands little chance of advancing.”

Jay missed his appointment for the waxing. Waters advances.


ASSISTANT COACH NATIONAL SEMI-FINALS

Bacari Alexander (Ohio) vs. Orlando Antigua (Pittsburgh)

The first semi-final has the Bow Tie guy up against the defending champion. This is a big day for Bacari and “Coke” Alexander. No other assistant has ever won two titles and he is on the verge of a third, with next year’s Fashionable 4 in his backyard in Detroit. Coach Alexander is building dynasty.

BACARI ALEXANDER: “I have to be on my ‘A-Game’ to get to the championship game this season. Orlando and I both learned a lot of tricks during our time with the Globetrotters, but the edge that I have on Orlando is that I left my bowtie at the prom back in High School! When you're competing at this level it’s not about gimmick looks it’s about style. Orlando is my guy, but I have to give him a “Coke and a Smile” for his efforts along with some payback from our last match-up.”

It’s tough hard to argue with a Coke and a Smile. Bacari is one win away from a dynasty.

Melvin Watkins (Missouri) vs. Brion Dunlap (Mount St. Mary’s)

It’s Melvin’s classic look against the combo club-executive look of Brion. This was one of the most competitive contests of the entire tournament. Melvin had a lot of trouble keeping up with the quickness of the younger and more nimble Brion. In the end it was the experience of Watkins that wore down his opponent. As a consolation Brion can tell his boss, Milan Brown, that he actually advanced to the Fashionable 4. Step it up Milan.


THE GAME DAY CREW

Before we get to the Fashion Finales, Jay will break down the style choices of the ESPN Game Day crew. Talk about a group of style-challenged individuals.

JAY BILAS: Rece Davis, or “Hollywood” as he is known to his colleagues, is the George Clooney of ESPN. His fashion choices may be puzzling, but whatever shirt/tie combo he goes with is fully supported by a poofy pocket square that is the size of an open parachute protruding from his breast pocket. Above the desk, he is impeccable. Below the desk, Davis rarely, if ever, wears pants.

Rece at least looks like he is making an attempt. And it’s good to know what Yankee starting pitcher Mike Mussina does when he is not pitching. Throw a Yankee cap on Rece and tell me it’s not the Moose.

JAY BILAS: “Dick Vitale is great to work with because you look so good in comparison. Dick cannot take credit for anything he wears. His selections are either free, made by his wife Lorraine, or both. When he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he is looking forward to receiving a new sports jacket, because the one he now wears was a purchased in 1957.”

Nice to see Vitale get that call from the hall. Fortunately for him there is no dress code for induction. He is reluctant to join the chrome dome club, which is a little disappointing. The hair is going back on defense quickly.

JAY BILAS: “Steve Lavin can wear any combination he likes, because there is no way that any reasonable person can take his or her eyes off of what is going on up top. Whatever Lavin is putting on that shell of his can lube every car at the Daytona 500, and it would appear that Gene Keady has pilfered some of it.”

Come on Steve. Enough with the gel already. Underneath all the hair care products has to be a nice shinny dome. You’d be a welcome member of our club.

JAY BILAS: “The Garanimals Digger Phelps sports weekly that match his pen are rather disturbing. We are still not sure what is decided upon first, the pen or the tie.”

Digger I would be happy to lend you and Bilas some of my fine tailored attire.

JAY BILAS: “It didn't bother me that ESPN let Bob Knight wear sweaters instead of suits, or that they gave him the sweaters for free. But, it told me loud and clear Knight was a really big deal. Then, I found out that the sweaters are not at all free. Rece, Digger, Hubert and I have to split the cost of Knight's sweater choices four ways.”

Coach can wear that ever he wants. Besides, his casual look actually makes Vitale and Phelps look sporty. Good move by ESPN having the non-dressers flanking Coach Knight. It makes them actually look stylish.

JAY BILAS: “Hubert Davis told me that he has an unlimited budget to buy clothes in order to look better than I do. His budget is not nearly enough to accomplish that task.”

Take him the hole, Hubert. He can’t hold you on the hardwood.

Okay Bilas, do any of these guys have a chance in a style-off with you?

JAY BILAS: No shot. My look is timeless, elegant and with a dignified, unpretentious style. As Larry Bird said to the other participants prior to the NBA 3point contest, "who's finishing second?""


THE FASHION FINALES

Bacari Alexander (Ohio) vs. Melvin Watkins (Missouri)

BACARI ALEXANDER: “The Runway to the Fashionable Four has been a great vehicle for assistants to get some name recognition as well as have some fun. The fashion committee has been great to me over the years, and I must say that they know a well dress coach when they see one.”

It should be noted that not even the magnificent Jay Wright hasn’t won three titles. And that is what Bacari will achieve with a win today. His opponent came close to taking head coach title back in 2001. Melvin looks prepped and ready to bring it home today.

And that is exactly what he did. The dynasty will have to wait until we get to Motown next April. Melvin Watkins in America’s best-dressed assistant coach in 2008.

Gary Waters (Cleveland State) vs. Kerry Keating (Santa Clara)

I still cannot believe that I lost to Keating. I am really disappointed with the judge’s final analysis, but I will honor their decision. And it should be noted that, along with Gary Waters, I am the only coach in America to style his way to the Fashionable 4 in each of the past two seasons. I will be looking for a third trip next April.

Now let’s take a look at final contest on the 2008 Runway to the Fashionable 4.

JAY BILAS: “Keating has had a difficult transition to being a head coach, in large measure because he was forced to leave his velour sweat suit at UCLA. Only Wayne Newton looked better in velour than did Keating, and both are equally popular among today's player.”

I am going to be honest, I am not sure that I could stomach a Keating victory. Much like Bacari Alexander, a win for Keating would put him in a league of his own. No coach has ever won the assistant coach tournament and then went on to capture the title as a head coach. While at UCLA Keating won the assistant’s crown in 2006.

Keating styling his way above all others would be just too much to deal with.

America’s best-dressed head coach in 2008 is Gary Waters.

Hey Bilas, call me. I have a couple of suits I was going to give to the Salvation Army. You are welcome to have them.
 

April 5, 2008

DAY 5: THE ELEGANT 8 RESULTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

It’s been a quite a weekend in San Antonio thus far. I had a chance to speak with the CollegeInsider.com people who informed that the 2008 Runway to the Fashionable 4 is easily the most popular in the tournament’s history.

They did however also mention that they are receiving a high volume of complaints about one of the competitors. Apparently there are a large number of fans and even coaches that believe I should not even be in the field, let along advance to the Elegant Eight.

JAY BILAS: “I would tend to agree.”

Well it’s good to see Bilas is back to provide insight and analysis for the Elegant Eight. Jay took a brief hiatus to do some clothes shopping, but he will be in attendance through the championship contest on the Runway to the Fashionable 4. Jay will be breaking down the wardrobes of the ESPN Game Day crew, between the National Semi-Finals and the Championship contest.

As for the outrage from the fans and coaches -- Come on now. I am all about style.

Before we get to the results, I wanted to make one quick announcement. CollegeInsider.com has issued a press release confirming that the Fashionable 4 contests, originally scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio have moved to another venue. Instead the final matches will be contested in remote location in Marlboro Country.


THE ASSISTANTS

I thought we might give the understudies a little attention. Four will advance to the Fashionable 4 event so this is a big day in their careers.

EAST: (2) Stacey Palmore (Virginia Tech) vs. (5) Orlando Antigua (Pittsburgh)

Stacey brings a wide variety of fabrics and flair to the runway. Orlando brings the bow tie. This should have been a runaway from the word “begin,” but surprisingly Orlando stayed close. In the end it came down to timing. I was unable to get to event on time to stop the judges from moving Orlando on to the Fashionable 4.

Stacey made Hokie Nation proud today and rest assured this result will come back to haunt the judges.

MIDWEST: (1) Bacari Alexander (Ohio) vs. (2) Wayne McClain (Illinois)

The top two seeds basically cruised to the Elegant Eight. Alexander was pleased with being tabbed the No. 1 seed and felt it would be a key to his success.

BACARI ALEXNADER: “The seeding process has always been fair and the people in my camp were excited about the number 1 seed! What most people don't understand about this tournament is that seeding is critical to a good run.”

Bacari “and Coke” is seeking his third runway title. This guy already has two and I have none. That’s a joke.

He had just a little bit too much for Coach McClain today.

SOUTHEAST: (2) Mike Jones (Georgia) vs. (8) Brion Dunlap (Mount St. Mary’s)

How about The Mount having two coaches in the Elegant Eight? Head coach Milan Brown is also vying for a spot in the Fashionable 4, but he has to deal with George Clooney. Brion had his hands full too, but that hint of Madison Avenue style gave him the edge of Mike Jones.

At least one from The Mount is in the prestigious Fashionable 4.

WEST: (1) Melvin Watkins (Missouri) vs. (3) Lewis Preston (Florida)

It was close until it actually began. Coach Preston has a bright future as a coach and on the runway, but Melvin is on a higher plateau.


THE HEAD COACHES

WEST: (1) Tom Pecora (Hofstra) vs. (3) Kerry Keating (Santa Clara)

What could be a better way to begin the head coach Elegant Eight then to have Coach Keating eliminated from the tournament. I have to admit I am not overly impressed with Pecora’s wardrobe, but I will support him in this contest against Keating.

JAY BILAS: “There is a fine line between ‘outfit’ and ‘get-up,’ and Tom Pecora has erased that line. Pecora purchased his first suit out of the back of a truck in Queens when he was in high school, and it would appear that he has been frequenting the same haberdashery every since.”

Jay that’s not exactly the type of analysis I was hoping for. I am a little disappointed. We are trying to get Pecora and NOT Keating into the Fashionable 4.

KERRY KEATING: “Pecora needs to understand that its been almost 34 years now since I first set foot on campus at Hofstra, when my dad was an assistant in Hempstead. So he can't fool me, I know that he's been recycling the polyester there. I think that he also has been wearing Jay Wright's suit from 99, which of course is 10 times better than anything Seth could conjure up. I'm not sure the hand-me-downs are going to cut it.”

Much to my dismay the judges agree. Keating advances.

That’s a very poor job by the committee.

(1) Bruiser Flint (Drexel) vs. (2) Gary Waters (Cleveland State)

Vegas took this one off the board, calling it a ‘no-contest.’ Waters should easily overwhelm the walking Crest commercial. Let’s see if Flint is still smiling when this contest concludes.

JAY BILAS: At UMass, Flint had only to out-dress such fashion plates as Phil Martelli, John Chaney, Speedy Morris and Al Skinner to be named Atlantic 10 Fashionista of the Year. Now, with such parity among college coaches, Flint has to have his suits made at a price exceeding the entire budget of his athletic department. Flint's ties alone are the equivalent of a full scholarship.

That sounds like decent insight from Bilas, but ESPN News is reporting that Waters has more pairs of shoes then Flint has ties At $500-plus per pair, Waters is walking in style to the Fashionable 4.

Bye, Bye Bru!

EAST: (1) Jay Wright (Villanova) vs. (15) Milan Brown (Mount St. Mary’s)

It’s been quite a season for Milan Brown and The Mount. They finished the regular season strong, won the NEC tournament and knocked off Coppin State in the NCAA Tournament’s open round game. Milan followed that up with a revenge-win over Roy Williams (North Carolina) in the first round and went on to knock off Stan Heath (South Florida) and Dave Leitao (Virginia) to advance to the Elegant Eight.

It’s been a great season for Milan, but it has to end here. Sorry coach, but you have a flawless performance to beat Clooney. One wrinkle and it is goodbye.

SOUTHEAST: (10) Brian Gregory (Dayton) vs. (16) Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech)

KERRY KEATING: "Is Seth even IN San Antonio? It's one thing to talk about his unprecedented run to the elegant 8 as a 16 seed, its another to not actually show up to prove if he even has any type of wardrobe."

Scroll back up to the East Regional Fashion Finale, where Orlando Antigua (Pittsburgh) knocked off Stacey Palmore (Virginia Tech). I told you that result would come back to haunt the committee.

Did you really think when this tournament began that I wouldn’t make it all the way to the Fashionable 4?

Next stop -- Marlboro Country.
 

April 4, 2008

DAY 4: THE SENSATIONAL 16 RESULTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

People amaze me. The Riverwalk in San Antonio is crowded with coaches walking around wondering how I have managed to advance to the Sensational 16.

It’s called style.

Let me state this again. Style is not something you can walk into a store and simply purchase. You can’t ordered through the mail or download off the web. It’s something you either have or don’t have. My opponents on the 2008 Runway to the Fashionable 4 have discovered that I certainly have an overabundance of style and grace.

And they don’t!

KERRY KEATING: “Rick Pitino should get a lifetime sportsmanship award for forfeiting the first round. Seth couldn't beat Pitino if coach was wearing his Final Four suit from 1987. Heck, coach Pitino could wear Billy D's #34 uniform and still beat Seth on his best day. If that wasn't a forfeit, then Jed Bush was counting the votes.”

Santa Clara’s Keating would be well advised to concern himself with his opponent, Bo Ryan. Talk about improbable runs to the Sensational 16. It’s still a mystery to me how a guy like Keating is included in the field of fashionable coaches each season. I have petitioned the NCAA to look into the circumstances under which Mr. Keating was crowned best-dressed assistant coach, during his time at UCLA.

Congratulations to Notre Dame’s Mike Brey. No Mike didn’t advance on the Runway to the Fashionable 4. The mock-turtleneck look doesn’t earn you many style points and Mike isn’t exactly a GQ cover boy, but he is an outstanding coach and his abilities as a coach were honored on Friday.

Mike is the recipient of inaugural Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

Most of you know that Skip passed away last summer. He was an outstanding coach, but he was a better person. This award was created to honor his memory. I was very honored to have been selected as one of the ten finalists along with Mike, Rick Byrd (Belmont), Frank Haith (Miami), Trent Johnson (Stanford), Bob McKillop (Davidson), Sean Miller (Xavier), Matt Painter (Purdue), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) and Gary Waters (Cleveland State).

Mike Brey is an outstanding individual. He certainly cannot dress to impress, but he is a pretty impressive individual and very much deserving of the Skip Prosser Award.

My pal Jay Bilas, who is one of the 21 members of Skip Prosser Award voting panel, got a glimpse of my stylish attire in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency and decided he needed to go shopping for some new gear. He won’t be on hand to provide fashion analysis today, but he will return for the Elegant Eight and Fashionable 4 contests.

Among other things, Bilas will be critiquing the style of his fellow ESPN Game Day pals. Talk about a collection of style-challenged analysts.

Now let’s check out the results from the round of sixteen, which is better know as the Sensational 16. The field was reduced to eight on Thursday.


EAST REGION

(1) Jay Wright (Villanova) vs. (5) Bob McKillop (Davidson)

This was an unbelievable battle. Villanova’s version of George Clooney can out-style most coaches on his worst day, but Bobby McKillop is classic! In this an election year, McKillop exudes that Presidential look. You can almost envision him taking the oath of office.

Bobby is the President, but Jay is the King. Elvis lives and moves on to the Elegant Eight.

(3) Dave Leitao (Virginia) vs. (15) Milan Brown (Mount St. Mary’s)

Milan Brown is quickly carving out a place for himself on the runway. It’s a joke that he was given a No. 15 seed. I am really disappointed with the committee’s inability to properly seed the more stylish coaches, like Milan and myself.

For that reason alone the majestic Milan Brown moves on. This was tabbed as a tightly contested affair, but it was no contest.

It will be Milan and Elvis on Friday night for a spot in the Fashionable 4.


MIDWEST REGION

(1) Bruiser Flint (Drexel) vs. (13) Wayne Tinkle (Montana)

Can we just put Coach Tinkle into the Elegant Eight? I have tried hard to be bias, but I just cannot get past the fact that Mr. Fly was given a No. 1 seed, while I was ticketed for the Style-In contest.

Apparently my pleas to have Flint knocked off the runway have fallen on deaf ears. Despite a great effort from Coach Tinkle, Flint advances.

(2) Gary Waters (Cleveland State) vs. (6) Frank Haith (Miami)

Frank Haith has all the makings of a top seed one day soon. His suits are well-tailored and he is always well-groomed. It’s hard to even find one whisker on the clean-shaved man from Miami.

Like the NCAA basketball tournament, this is a classic example of how it’s all about the matchups. If Haith is on the other side of the bracket, he crushes Flint and earns a spot in the Elegant Eight. Instead he’s paired up with one of the game’s most stylish guys.

Cleveland State’s Gary Waters has more shoes then LeBron James has sneakers. That’s too much for Haith to overcome. Gary moves on.


THE ASSISTANTS

We will get back to the Southeast and West regions shortly, but first I need to provide a brief update on the on goings in the assistant coach tournament. A number of assistants have filed complaints about the lack of coverage of their event.

Guys let’s be serious. Other than your wives or girlfriends nobody cares. Fans are not running to the computer to see what one of you has to say about the other. However, since Bilas is out shopping for a new wardrobe, I will provide you with a little coverage. Here are your ten minutes of fame…

No shock that the No. 2 seed in the East is rolling right along. Hokie Nation can be proud of the stylish exploits of Stacey Palmore. He has advanced to the Elegant Eight and will take on Pittsburgh’s Orlando Antigua. Coach what’s the story with the bowtie?

JAMES WILHELMI: “I would like to officially file my protest following my loss to Stacey Palmore. Clearly there is a conflict of interest here. Of course this is pointed out with all due respect, no offense, I'm just saying!”

Wilhelmi is a fine young assistant at Howard, but he cannot style with the likes of Stacey Palmore.

Most of the favorites have advanced. Mount St. Mary’s Brion Dunlap is the lowest remaining seed (No. 8 in the Southeast). Missouri’s Melvin Watkins and Illinois’ Wayne McClain may be on a collision course in the finals, but the two-time champion Bacari Alexander will have something to say about that. In fact, he has a lot to say.

BACARI ALEXNADER: “I am thrilled and humbled to punch another ticket to the Runway to the Fashionable Four! Over the years, I have paid my dues and been through the tournament wars. As a result, I've enjoyed the fruits of my labor having earned a couple titles. You must not dress for where you’re at, but dress for where you’re trying to go!”

Coach Alexander has clearly established himself as one of the annual contenders for the assistant coach crown. He clearly has an eye for style.

BACARI ALEXNADER: “Seth Greenberg will do a tremendous job as usual. He understands the importance of looking the part. Coach Greenberg looks sharp.

Like I said, coach Alexander knows good style.


SOUTHEAST REGION

(12) Bob Marlin (Sam Houston) vs. (16) Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech)

This might be the first time in fashion history that Bob Marlin is the higher seed, but it’s only because the selection committee dropped the ball on my seeding.

The Marlboro Man was styling through the lobby today. He was talking to Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan who was named the winner of the 2008 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. Like Mike Brey, Bo is another guy who should rack up a number of coaching awards, but he will never take home any style trophies.

And that applies to Marlin to as well.

BOB MARLIN: “We have been sitting around the campfire here in Marlboro Country, trying to game plan for the Outlaw Seth Greenberg. My posse is a little concerned about this matchup, especially since Seth beat me last year. We have some concerns about the process that determines the winners.”

Marlin has done an outstanding job of styling on the Runway to the Fashionable 4 over the past few years. Last season he just ran into a more stylish guy -- Me. This year he has taken it to another level and like I said when the tournament began, “Nobody beats the Marlboro Man.”

Except for me.

BOB MARLIN: “Seth just knocked the cigarette right out of my mouth and into the Riverwalk. That’s a tough way to go out.”

(10) Brian Gregory (Dayton) vs. (11) Steve Hawkins (Western Michigan)

This might be the most surprising pairing of the 2008 tournament. The diminutive Brian Gregory pitted against the semi-portly but polished dome look of Steve Hawkins.

STEVE HAWKINS: Seth is a card-carrying member of the follicley challenged club, to which I also pay my yearly dues. Therefore I do have a soft spot for Seth, even if he has ripped me in the past.

Coach I appreciate that. I also appreciate you paying your yearly dues. We can’t keep our organization running at a high level without membership dues.

Unfortunately I have to go with BG to advance here, but the Sensational Sixteen was a big step forward this year. Next year the polished cranium could be Fashionable 4 bound.


WEST REGION

(1) Tom Pecora (Hofstra) vs. (5) Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest)

Is Pecora really still here? This is a joke. There is no way the Colonial Athletic Association deserves to have two No. 1 seeds. Pecora and Flint should be participating in the newly created postseason tournament. Not the CBI but the CBS --- Can’t Buy Style.

Apparently the judges do not agree as they have Pecora styling his way into the Regal final. Pecora in the Elegant Eight? That’s a joke.

(3) Kerry Keating (Santa Clara) vs. (7) Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

It’s our final contest to determine the final contestant in the Elegant Eight.

KERRY KEATING: “Hey Seth I saw Dave Magarity in the lobby this morning, he wants his clothes back, let back out and pressed by Monday.”

Rumor has it that Keating was over at the arena today trying to get on television. According to sources he actually did get a little tube time on CSTV. I hope that is true, as it will give the national audience an opportunity to see that he is a fashion fraud.

Keating advances to the Elegant Eight only because Bo Ryan was relaxing and enjoying his Jim Phelan Coach of the Year Award. He didn’t show up to style against Keating.

Rumor has it that Bo is sitting by the campfire, telling coaching stories, somewhere in Marlboro Country.
 

April 3, 2008

DAY 3: THE SECOND ROUND RESULTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

There appears to be quite an uprising over my victory on Monday evening. Apparently there are a great number of people who do not recognize style when they see it. As I have said previously -- Style is not something you can purchase. It’s something you possess. It’s a state of mind.

I didn’t even mention the fact that Rick Pitino committed a major fashion violation when he broke out the white suit. Jay Bilas also questioned the Mr. Roarke-Fantasy Island approach of Pitino.

JAY BILAS: "It’s really hard to justify the white suit. The Fantasy Island reference is appropriate. Where is Tattoo?"

The CollegeInsider.com people are calling my victory the greatest upset in the history of the Runway to the Fashionable 4. That’s comical, coming from a staff of non-dressers. Outside of Angela Lento, Brad Holland and Kyle Macy and maybe Matt Drake (A.K.A Archie Gates -- the George Clooney of CollegeInsider.com) the rest of the staff has a combined one suit and that’s even a stretch. It’s a joke.

KERRY KEATING: “I laughed when I heard Seth had beaten Pitino. I thought it was someone’s poor attempt at humor. Seth, I dare you to wear a white suit. I DARE you. No more Tommy Bahama silk or linen jacket that you're going to pass off. I want to see a tailored white suit. By the way, there is a reason why you were in the style in bracket. Is that even a bracket? Or just a courtesy for your commentary?”

Keating thinks he’s funny. He also thinks he’s stylish. He should concern himself with his second-round opponent Ernie Kent. The poise and experience of Kent should be too much for Keating and his pretty gray highlights. You secured your first round win now make the trip to San Antonio as a spectator of the Runway to the Fashionable 4.

Let’s take a look at Day 3 results. Winners get a ticket to the Sensational Sixteen on Thursday evening…


EAST REGION

(1) Jay Wright (Villanova) vs. (8) Tommy Dempsey (Rider)

JAY BILAS: “Tough to see anything other than a win for Jay here.”

He’s college basketball’s version of Elvis. Nobody does it better than Jay Wright. You quickly run out of superlatives to describe Jay.

TOMMY DEMPSEY: “What a big win for the program, beating Jimmy Patsos. That was just the first step. I thought I should have been part of the Runway in year’s past, but I was passed over so the win over Jimmy was a few years in the making. It’s a tough task competing against Jay, but I think we have done some good advance scouting. We will compete.”

If Jay shows up in sweats he’ll clobber Dempsey. TD had a very questionable first round win. He had to exhaust all options just to beat Patsos. That was competitive. Now he’s out of his league.

Clooney is the first entry into the Sensational Sixteen.

(5) Bob McKillop (Davidson) vs. (13) Dan Leibovitz (Hartford)

Bobby McKillop and I both represent classic style. The classic look is a tradition like no other. It’s not trendy. It’s timeless style. You won’t see guys like McKillop and me sporting square toe shoes or suit jackets that resemble trench coats. We aren’t influenced. When it comes to fashion choices we make our own decisions.

I have loyalties to the Jewish Coaches Association, but Dan is overmatched by a classic look.

DAN LEIBOVITZ: “I think my lack of TV exposure leads to a certain bias. Next year I need at least a 7-10 matchup”

(7) Stan Heath (South Florida) vs. (15) Milan Brown (Mount St. Mary's)

MILAN BROWN: “The Runway to the Fashionable 4 has become yet another vehicle for coaches to be viewed in a positive light in a fun and relaxed manner. I was asked about being named one of the best-dressed head coaches during my press conference before our 1st round game in the NCAA tournament. So people notice what is going on with this fun event.”

Milan did get a lot of questions asked about his style in advance of the NCAA Tournament.

Stan is making the transition to South Florida seamlessly. As a former assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State, Stan did an outstanding job of surviving the fashion-challenged Big Ten Conference. Did I mention that the Big Ten is worst-dressed conference among head coaches?

I am buying into the Milan Brown style. Stan is pretty sharp, but Milan is a rising star in our profession. He’s an underrated coach and understated in terms of style.

(3) Dave Leitao (Virginia) vs. (6) Gregg Marshall (Wichita State)

Tough matchup here. Marshall is no longer under the radar as a head coach, but I don’t think people have really given him enough credit for his attention to detail with his wardrobe. This was a tough call, but in the end Leitao had a little more length in the suit jackets.


MIDWEST REGION

(1) Bruiser Flint (Drexel) vs. (8) Jim Larranaga (George Mason)

Coach L opted to remain at George Mason, despite a solid offer from Providence to become the new head coach of the Friars. While official terms of the offer were not released, it was confirmed that Larranaga was focused on beating Flint and advancing to the Sensational 16.

JAY BILAS: “For Larranaga it’s not what he wears, but how he wears it. However you slice it, Flint wins. His suits were tailored in this decade.”

Wow Bilas with the tough assessment of Coach L. This from a guy who is the king of the mundane look. Did anyone notice the picture of Bilas on the front page of CollegeInsider.com the other day? The blue blazer and stripped tie says it all --- Both simple and very average.

Still, I have to give Bru a slight edge. He advances. Barely.

(5) John Thompson III (Georgetown) vs. (13) Wayne Tinkle (Montana)

JT 3 has really stepped it up. He cruised to a first round win and caught a big break, when Trent Johnson was upset by Montana’s Wayne Tinkle.

WAYNE TINKLE: “I think the Runway to the Fashionable Four is a fun idea and it gives us a chance (Montana) to participate in the post-season. But I have to question the choice of Coach Greenberg covering the event. Having Seth Greenberg oversee this event is like asking Governor Spitzer to lead a morality seminar. It just doesn’t make sense.”

That’s pretty harsh coach and not exactly the way to endear yourself to a guy who has some say as to your immediate future on the runway. You are way off in your evaluation of my wardrobe, but I like the fact that you brought something extra to the tournament.

Apparently the selection/voting committee agrees. The Carey Grant-George Clooney clone moves on.

(2) Gary Waters (Cleveland State) vs. (10) Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss)

Bald is beautiful. Nobody can question that. Coach Kennedy was impressive in beating Bradley’s Jimmy Les, but this is another level now. Coach Waters shops in Paris and I am pretty sure that Coach Kennedy does not.

Love the look, but it’s not enough against the former champion.

(3) Rick Barnes (Texas) vs. (6) Frank Haith (Miami)

JAY BILAS: “Little Ricky from Hickory believes that his suits drape on him. In reality, they look like my grandmother's drapes on him.”

Bilas is really delivering the body shots now, but I have to agree with here. Rick is stylin’ in the Lone Star State, but Frank Haith has the South Beach Art Deco thing happening. Frank has the look of a legitimate contender for the title.


SOUTHEAST REGION

(8) Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) vs. (16) Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech)

I have to tell you. Looking at the scoreboard and seeing a ‘16’ next to my name is insulting. I am really disappointed with the selection committee. I provided Angela Lento with tickets in the first row behind the Virginia Tech bench this season and I am rewarded with a spot in the Style-In contest. That’s a joke.

JOE DWYER: “Somewhere along the line Seth has convinced himself that GQ is interested in shooting him for the cover. Since Seth is a friend I can tell him that the orange and purple ties are just not working either. I have to quote the John Carpenter film, ‘They Live.’ As my man Roddy Piper so aptly put it, ‘that’s like putting perfume on a pig.’”

This coming from a guy who thinks wearing a skullcap and jeans is fashionable. This is college basketball and not the Winter X Games Dwyer. Another fashionably challenged CollegeInsider.com guy.

JAY BILAS: “I fully expected this to be a matchup between Pitino and Pearl. Instead of the orange chest versus white suit it’s the orange chest versus the follicley and fashionably challenged.”

Come on. Did you really think I was going to lose to Pearl?

(4) Jeff Capel (Oklahoma) vs. (12) Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State)

If you are looking for Bob Marlin you can find him the great wide open space of Marlboro Country. The Marlboro Man proved to be too much for Bill Self in the first round. Jeff Capel brings a lot more to the runway then Self.

Hey Capel in case you hadn’t heard -- Nobody beats the Marlboro Man.

(2) John Calipari (Memphis) vs. (10) Brian Gregory (Dayton)

Self was out-styled because his focus was on getting to the Final Four. Both Roy Williams and Ben Howland were also first round victims. So how is that Calipari survived?

That’s pretty impressive multi-tasking, but it ends here. Napoleon Jr. advances. BG can style.

(3) Anthony Grant (VCU) vs. (11) Steve Hawkins (W. Michigan)

The more I see him the more I am impressed with the polished dome look being sported by Steve Hawkins.

STEVE HAWKINS: “It's nice to finally advance. I was happy to get a higher seed and I followed that up with a win over Billy Donovan. I hope that is a sign that the committee is gaining an appreciation for fat bald guys that do have a nice wardrobe. In the past I have been left out of the field completely so this sends a positive message to all the guys that are a little overweight -- There is a spot on the Runway to the Fashionable 4 for all of us.”

There is no question that Hawk has been the victim of fashion profiling in the past. There appears to be a new approach from the selection committee, which finally gives the dome club members a legitimate shot.

JAY BILAS: “The first guy to keep his coat on a coat wins.”

Hawkins in a runaway.


WEST REGION

(1) Tom Pecora (Hofstra) vs. (9) Ritchie McKay (Liberty)

RITCHIE MCKAY: “What a tremendous win it was for our program. Beating someone with the style and grace of Lorenzo Romar is nothing short of a major win. I know Seth was critical of my early-season attire, but we made some adjustments and finished strong. I have to give my staff a lot of credit for their advanced scouting and overall preparation.”

Coach McKay is pretty fired up about his stunning first round win. There is no other way to describe it other than stunning. Lorenzo was a real contender for the title in 2008. Once again I really have to question the voting process of the committee. Let’s see what Bilas thinks.

JAY BILAS: “No comment.”

RITCHIE MCKAY: “Seth (Greenberg) has really worked hard over the years to continue to elevate his game to the level that he is at. He is a great guy who has a tremendous eye for talent, and I think he will do an excellent job helping to grow this event.”

Kind words coach, but that won’t help you to advance. This contest was close up until the time it actually started.

(5) Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest) vs. (13) Bill Grier (San Diego)

Two rising stars in coaching and in style, but Dino has a little more experience here. While both have competed in the assistant coach tournament in years past, Dino was always a high seed and he has a number of impressive victories on his resume.

The Demon Deacons march on.

(2) Jerry Wainwright (DePaul) vs. (7) Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

JAY BILAS: “I never agreed with those that said that Bo looks like the Badger. The Badger would never dress like that in public. Jerry looks like an unmade bed.”

That’s tough insight and analysis from Bilas, but once again I must agree with Jay. I have to ask. How did these two advance out of the first round? Jerry getting a 2 seed is very suspect and Bo being in the field is very questionable. What’s worse is that one of these guys will advance to the Sensational 16.

We will go with regular season wins as the deciding factor, which favors Ryan.

BO RYAN: “It’s great to be moving on. It proves that the simple, hard working approach does work when you apply it to the Runway to the Fashionable 4.”

(3) Kerry Keating (Santa Clara) vs. (6) Ernie Kent (Oregon)

KERRY KEATING: “We were excited with our seed as a 3 being that this is our initial foray into the upper echelon of a head coach's wardrobe. The staff is anxious to add to the assistant titles that we earned in the past and that are prominently displayed for our visitors to see. The first round win put us one step closer.”

The last spot in the Sensational 16 is up for grabs. Personally I think this should be a blow out victory for Kent. But Keating seems to have the ability to talk, rather than style his way into the next round.

KERRY KEATING: “Ed Conroy still has at least 10 of my hand me down ties from our days at Tulsa and Tennessee, and it is apparent that the committee used the first round to motivate lower seeds to higher aspirations and haberdashery with protégés and former coaches from their current schools in the same brackets. Ed is my boy, and I'm sure his wife is just excited that he actually made the field, since she is responsible for his attire, although if Ed had a choice, he'd rather be in dress Blues and marching every morning with his team. He is the most decorated cadet to play hoops at Citadel after all.”

Keating loves to hear the sound of his own voice.

Kent has some of the same qualities as Jay Wright. He has great sideline presence. Rarely if ever does he loosen even one button. He’s always in control and he looks freshly pressed in the postgame press conference.

How can a guy that smooth not advance?

Kerry’s dad, who is the Associate Athletic Director at Kansas won’t have a lot of time this week to follow his son on the runway, but he did have time to issue a quick statement.

LARRY KEATING: “Bad first round match up but now it looks like clear sailing to the Fashionable Four.”
 

April 1, 2008

DAY 2: THE FIRST ROUND RESULTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

I am not sure that I am pleased to welcome him, but I would like to announce the arrival of ESPN’s own Jay Bilas to the 2008 Runway to the Fashionable 4. Jay, for some unknown reason, will be providing fashion analysis. Jay is very knowledgeable when it comes to the game of basketball, but I have to question his involvement here.

Nevertheless, let’s see what Mr. Bilas has to offer.

JAY BILAS: “Let’s begin with the result of the Style-In contest. This duo of fashion disasters is the style equivalent of two No. 16 seeds playing each other in the dark. Sadly, that appears to be exactly the conditions under which the Greenberg's dress themselves. What other explanation can there be for the ‘fashion choices’ made by the follicley-challenged brothers grim. Seth appears to be channeling Larry David on a casual Friday, while Brad would be better suited to wear the kilts sported by his team's mascot (although the Radford mascot has a much more appealing head). This match-up is a coin flip and whatever coin you choose is worth more than the suits the Greenbergs' wear.”

While I do appreciate Jay’s on-air support, regarding Stephen Curry, he obviously has no conception of what style is. Jay is the king of the blue and black blazers. He has a little more hair then me, but it appears that he is working the wrap around nicely.

We will get back to Bilas later. Now let’s take a look at the first round results, which took place on Monday, March 31.


EAST REGION

(1) Jay Wright (Villanova) vs. (16) Mike Lonergan (Vermont)

MIKE LONERGAN: “I was very disappointed with my seeding. This is a tough matchup. Jay must be the overall #1 seed in the entire tourney. His shoes probably cost more than my suits! There is a reason a #16 has never beaten a #1 seed in the tournament! Vegas won't even put a line on Jay Wright because he is the prohibitive favorite in the Runway to the Fashionable 4.”

George Clooney (A.K.A. Jay Wright) never looked so good. Does he lay everything out flat a week in advance? The guy never has a thread out of place. It’s like the guy is programmed for fashion. Just once I would like to see him loosen up one button. Even when his team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Georgetown, Clooney kept his cool and composure. His poise and grace is amazing. Just once I would like to see the guy a little messy, maybe a hair or two going in the wrong direction.

JAY BILAS: “Jay Wright spends more on a single haircut than most Americans spend on housing in any one month.”

I have to agree with Jay here. That’s a pretty impressive head.

MIKE LONERGAN: “If we can pull off the biggest upset in tourney history I am confident we can beat my best friend, Jimmy Patsos, should he win a close first round matchup with Tommy Dempsey and advance.”

Hey coach you are doing a nice job in Burlington, VT, but you have no shot here. This is as close to an absolute lock as there is. This is the most guaranteed guarantee game of all time. ML was matched up with Clooney and looking ahead to the second round. Wow.

MIKE LONERGAN: “I know coaches aren't supposed to say this but I am just happy to be in the Runway to the Fashionable 4 for the first time!”

That is what you call fashionable coach-speak.

(8) Tommy Dempsey (Rider) vs. (9) Jimmy Patsos (Loyola MD)

TOMMY DEMPSEY: “I have to be a double digit favorite in this match up. By the end of the game the guy looks like he has been through World War II. I can't lose to a guy that has his tie around his head at the end of the game.”

It’s hard to argue with that coach. Jimmy Patsos should carry an umbrella at all times. His suits soak up a lot of precipitation on game day. He keeps three different dry cleaners in Baltimore in business. As for Dempsey, he is a work in progress. He may have picked up some bad habits from former Rider coach and current athletic director, Don Harnum.

TOMMY DEMPSEY: “The committee did not do me any favors with a potential second round match up with Jay Wright. I have noticed that Jay has toned it down a bit this year but he still brings it every night.”

TD you should know that a toned-down Clooney would be a mismatch for a Bronc.

Patsos has the experience of going to the Final Four at Maryland. He knows what the pressure feels like. I thought for sure that would help him on the runway. I really have to question the fact that Dempsey has advanced.

(4) Bobby Lutz (Charlotte) vs. (13) Dan Leibovitz (Hartford)

DAN LEIBOVITZ: “I have really been shopping to try and improve my seeding. I bought three new suits this season. Does physical fitness mean nothing in these brackets? This is absurd”

Of course Dan was joking, but I will say that it is a little absurd that he is a double-digit seed. Coach Leibovitz is another outstanding member of the Jewish Coaches Association. While Dan learned a lot about the game from John Chaney, it’s clear he didn’t seek any fashion advice from the former Temple head coach. Like a good coach he has selected the best and eliminated the worst. He has created his own identity.

His opponent, Bobby Lutz is perfectly pressed at all times. Every hair is in place. It’s all about simple, classic elegance with Bobby Lutz.

Bobby is sharp, but we have to make sure the sharp-dressed Jewish guys advance.

(7) Stan Heath (South Florida) vs. Dennis Felton (Georgia)

This is the best first round matchup in the tournament. Felton is a former champion and Heath has the look of a future champion. Dennis needs to lighten up a little though and understand that the fashion selection committee is not evaluating his look during the summer recruiting months. Dennis, shorts and polo shirt would work better then a sport coat in July.

In clothes call, Heath advances.

(3) Dave Leitao (Virginia) vs. (14) Randy Peele (Winthrop)

I have to ask. Why is Randy in the field? Randy never looks like he is really dressed.

Dave Leitao has his own unique style. His sport coats are long enough to be a trench coat on me. Dave has the widest shoulders in the profession.

JAY BILAS: “Leitao should advance with relative ease due to the fact that his suits and shirts have a thread count of at least Super 200's, much like his non-conference RPI.”

Again, why is Randy Peele in the field? This was a rout.

(2) Roy Williams (North Carolina) vs. (15) Milan Brown (Mount St. Mary’s)

MILAN BROWN: “I see that I'm matched yet again against Coach Williams. As if a matchup in the first round of the NCAA tournament enough! Another match-up where I will show up with a rock and a slingshot but this time hopefully I won't miss. I'm telling you right now, if Hansbrough and Lawson show up with a suit on, I'm protesting.”

Two words -- Style and Grace. Milan Brown is the Bobby McKillop of the Northeast Conference. His style and his abilities as a coach have both been greatly overlooked by many.

Roy does a nice job with the Alexander Julian look and has been close to advancing the fashionable 4 in year’s past. His focus is elsewhere right now, which could mean advantage Brown.

MILAN BROWN: “Maybe Coach Williams will forget his tie or wear the wrong pair shoes. If he does, the upset can happen.”

It did. Milan moves on.

(5) Bob McKillop (Davidson) vs. (12) Herb Sendek (Arizona State)

Bobby styled his way to the Fashionable 4 back in 2002. What more needs to be said?

This is bad spot for Herb. Normally it’s Arizona State that buys guarantee games, but the tables are reversed on the Runway to Fashionable 4. This is no contest. McKillop moves on.

(6) Gregg Marshall (Wichita State) vs. (11) Monte Ross (Delaware)

This is a very good opening round matchup. Monte graduated from the Phil Martelli School of keeping it very simple. Gregg has done a phenomenal job of creating his own fashion identity. He’s a rising star on the runway.

Sorry Monte. You are doing a nice job at Delaware, but you came up a little short today.


SOUTHEAST REGION

(1) Rick Pitino (Louisville) vs. (16) Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech)

First let me clarify something. There was a report on ESPN News that my Style-In contest was not televised by the Total Sports Network because they felt it would not be suitable viewing for their audience. That’s false. ESPN didn’t even consider covering the event because they knew it would not be close. It was the non-competitive element that prompted the programming people to pass on televising the event.

As for my next opponent…

For starters the guy is still getting paid by the Boston Celtics. You can’t buy a championship. You can’t buy style. Style is something you have. It’s not something you can simply purchase.

Let’s hear from Jay.

JAY BILAS: “While some may choose to focus upon the sartorial splendor of Pitino in a custom made, dark chalk stripe suit with a snappy pair of Ferragamos, it is impossible for one to dismiss the white suit worn for the Georgetown game. It was a choice that would have made Colonel Sanders cry fowl. Pitino looked like he was looking for his trusty sidekick ‘Tattoo’ to join him on Fantasy Island. And, the thought that he changed at halftime to avoid revealing his blue skivvies is too much to bear. Cardinal fans may wonder why his undergarments were not Louisville red instead of Kentucky blue. Hard to justify.”

Sounds to me like Bilas believes Pitino’s style is overrated.

Did you really think I was going to lose to ravishing Rick?

(8) Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) vs. (9) Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee)

My initial thought was that Bruce would advance, but I had to reconsider. Nobody has more orange ties then my man Pearl. Light-colored suits are a bad choice because he sweats too much. And Pearl do us all a favor and keep your shirt on.

As for Kermit, he’s another classic style guy. He brings old school to the runway. Not old style, but the old school classic look.

JAY BILAS: “Bruce Pearl is deathly afraid that the secret will be out -- He did not voluntarily paint his chest orange for a Lady Vols game. It was his ‘self-tanner’, which had a more orange hue than he had anticipated. Now that he has the mix right, Pearl will not lose to the coach of a directional school.”

Wow that’s tough. Kermit is smooth, but Jay supported my victory over Pitino so you gotta go Kermit. Better luck on the 2009 Runway to the Fashionable 4.

(4) Jeff Capel (Oklahoma) vs. (13) Steve Shields (UALR)

Jeff comes from the Mike Krzyzewski School of keeping it simple. He’s one of these extremely fit guys with a tendency to make everything look a little better because he can wear it well. However I don’t think he goes outside the box enough. He needs to be a tad more creative. That may hurt in the later rounds, but not here.

I have to ask. Why is Steve Shields in this tournament?

(2) John Calipari (Memphis) vs. Craig Robinson (Brown)

Hey Cal, how many black suits are you going to sport? He’s another guy that’s still using that NBA money (New Jersey Nets) to try and buy a championship. I have been very critical of his fashion sense in the past, but he’s made improvements in his game. However I would still like to see a little more range in colors and fabrics.

CRAIG ROBINSON: “The only way I see advancing is if I catch Calipari on an off day on his way BACK from the cleaners.”

Coach Robinson did a really nice job this season, but Brown is not going to beat Memphis. Sorry coach.

(7) Vann Pettaway (Alabama A&M) vs. (10) Brian Gregory (Dayton)

Vann is pretty sharp and he did a heck of a job this season. He lost his best post player and his best perimeter player in November, but still managed to finish third in the league. That’s almost as impressive as his attire.

Napoleon Jr. (A.K.A. Brian Gregory) is Tom Izzo all dressed up. Can we get the hair any more perfect? He rocks the runway with a Mid-western traditional style. He’s in Big Ten country, but he’s not a typical Big Ten button down one-pleat guy. BG has had a tough act to follow in fashion maven Oliver Purnell (now at Clemson). That OP Classic style influenced many in the region.

By the way, where is OP in the field of 65? How did he not get an invite? That’s a very poor job by the committee chair.

Gregory just gets past Pettaway. Close. Real close.

(5) Bill Self (Kansas) vs. (12) Bobby Marlin (Sam Houston State)

Congratulations Bill. I hated to see my man Bobby McKillop come up one game short, but I was happy to see you advance to your first Final Four.

Bill sports that traditional look. He keeps it simple, but it works. However I don’t like this matchup for him. Marlin is the Urban Cowboy of the fashion field.

JAY BILAS: “Self should win, if only for the fact that he does not wear cowboy boots with his Armani suits.”

Jay I have to disagree here. Nobody beats the Marlboro Man.

(3) Anthony Grant (VCU) vs. (14) Bart Lundy (High Point)

I am very impressed by the way Coach Lundy’s stylist keeps his hair. He sports a neat, clean, reverse fade. I like the way the dome is highlighted. That’s impressive. He’s another fine member of the chrome dome club.

AG has a classic look with a hint of Miami flair. Another guy that looks smooth, but I have to question the commitment here. The jacket rarely makes it to the first media timeout. The jacket coming off is like losing a player to foul trouble. You can’t lose weapons in the first few minutes of a game. It’s hard to imagine a guy going deep into the tournament without all his gear.

BART LUNDY: “I have no chance.”

I feel for you coach. I don’t think the committee has enough respect for the mature guys who have their hair going back on defense. There is no question in my mind that the dome club is discriminated against in this tournament.

Grant advances.

(6) Billy Donovan (Florida) vs. (11) Steve Hawkins (Western Michigan)

Love the Hawk’s look. Nice job with the closely cropped dome. That shows tremendous sense of style.

STEVE HAWKINS: “After seeing the matchup I had a lot of confidence that I would advance, as long as the contests are judged purely on fashion. Like Seth I have long believed that the selection committee has favored skinny coaches with a full head of hair. The big bald guys have never gotten a fair shake. If this is a beauty contest I have no shot. If it's about style then Donovan has no shot.”

I can’t argue with anything there.

This is a battle of two 5-10 point guards. Neither guy has a lot of choices due to their diminutive size. Donovan, like his pupil Anthony Grant, never makes it to the 16-minute mark with full ensemble. Keep the jacket on.

JAY BILAS: “Hawkins wins, because Donovan cannot locate his suit coat. He probably does not even own one.”
 

WEST REGION

(3) Kerry Keating (Santa Clara) vs. (14) Ed Conroy (The Citadel)

Kerry Keating should not be in this tournament. He’s a Ben Howland wannabe. He has begun pulling out his own hair so that he can more closely resemble his mentor. He’s one of these guys who believes he’s stylish, but nobody else does. He’s better suited for a classic Dick Davey argyle sweater with saddle shoes. Let’s face it Keating, you’re a North Jersey guy who dresses like a North Jersey guy.

KERRY KEATING: “I'm sure Seth would like to expand this field, although probably to 66 and not 128 because then he'd be responsible for half of the head coaches and if he had it expanded he probably would only want a guarantee that he would always get the last added spot, because let's face it, he is no Jay Wright.”

Kerry tries too hard. He’s a poor man’s Jay Wright. No actually Kerry Keating is a homeless Jay Wright.

His dad, Larry, is the head of the rules committee. Unfortunately he didn’t teach his son the rules of fashion.

I was really disappointed to learn that Keating escaped the first round. Barely.

(1) Tom Pecora (Hofstra) vs. (16) Tom Parrotta (Canisius)

Another typical teacher-pupil matchup. Pecora is the King of the blue blazer. He does a nice job with statement ties, but I am still confused as to how he ends up with a No.1 seed, while I get ticketed for the style-in contest.

TOM PARROTTA: “It’s good to be invited back and I look to make a real serious run at things. I can't say I am happy about my seed being that it is based on dressing rather than coaching itself. I thought I stepped it up with the addition of some fine, silk hankies. That being said, I like being the underdog and my first round opponent I am looking forward to in Tom Pecora, my former boss. Challenging? Yes, but I think I can take him. I used to tie his knot ties before games.”

Parrotta won this matchup in last year’s field, but no such luck this time around. The mentor schools the pupil.

(6) Ernie Kent (Oregon) vs. (11) Randy Bennett (St. Mary's)

Ernie wins this in a runaway. Randy just doesn’t have the body or the hairstyle to compete with Kent’s classic look. However, I must commend him on the effort. Randy is a longstanding member of the -- much discriminated against -- chrome dome club. I guarantee the committee will be hearing from the current membership of this club very shortly.

(7) Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) vs. (10) Gary Stewart (UC Davis)

There is no swing in Bo’s wardrobe. He keeps it simple, which will not enable you to advance on the runway. Still, Bo is probably the best in the dressed down -- overrated in style -- Big Ten.

BO RYAN: “I do like the casual approach, but Seth has to understand that I am 60 now. You know this was fun when Angela (Lento) was overseeing the event. Seth seems to have taken over. I am not sure that Seth is the most qualified.”

For the record, the Big Ten is the most fashionably challenged league when it comes to its head coaches.

But somehow the man that Dave Magarity once tabbed as the Vincent Price of coaching, advances past the regal look of Gary Stewart. You got robbed Gary.

(2) Jerry Wainwright (DePaul) vs. (15) Frank Martin (Kansas State)

Frank Martin brought the sizzle of South Beach to the Little Apple (Manhattan, KS). Unfortunately that sizzle didn’t make it to the Runway.

How in the world did Jerry Wainwright earn a No. 2 seed? Not to mention Keating getting a 3 seed and Howland being the 4 seed. What a joke this region is.

(4) Ben Howland (UCLA) vs. (13) Bill Grier (San Diego)

It’s a landslide win for Billy Grier. Howland has made the mistake of taking fashion advice from his former assistant, Kerry Keating. Ben does a nice job, but when Denzel (Washington) and Jack (Nicholson) are in the house you need to take it to another level. Stop listening to Keating.

(5) Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest) vs. (12) Ricardo Patton (N. Illinois)

Ricardo made the transition from the Buffalo logo shirts to the Husky logo shirts. I love the school spirit, but it’s not a fashion statement. In fact it’s a fashion technical foul.

Dino has always been a sharp-dressed assistant and now he is transitioning to the head coach tournament nicely. He advances.

(8) Lorenzo Romar (Washington) vs. (9) Richie McKay (Liberty)

When it comes to Lorenzo I need just two letters -- G and Q

This should be an easy advance for Romar. I was in the crowd for the Liberty-Radford game (Cancer Awareness) doing some advanced scouting for the Runway to the Fashionable 4. While my brother Brad wasn’t exactly styling, Ritchie was dressed for shoot-around. He sported a mock turtleneck and Jordan baggy sweats. I have to question the selection committee’s decision to extend an invite to coach McKay.

I hope you brought something better to the runway coach.

RITCHIE MCKAY: “I am very happy we are a nine seed. But when I first grabbed a glimpse of the bracket and saw we would be facing Lorenzo Romar, who is not only a dear friend, but a sharply dressed cat, needless to say I know this is going to be a big challenge. We will need to pull out all the stops from the cufflinks to the matching tie and hanky, for us to get by such a worthy foe.”

Much to my amazement, McKay pulled off the upset. Aside from me being placed in the Style-In contest, nothing is a bigger joke then McKay beating GQ. Sorry Ritchie, but your just not as stylish then Lorenzo.


MIDWEST REGION

(1) Bruiser Flint (Drexel) vs. (16) John Giannini (La Salle)

My man Bru. He’s kept a low profile this season. What he lacks in style he makes up for with the best smile in college basketball. The guy can’t dress but he does have an infectious personality and he can certainly coach. I am going to try an overlook the cheap comments he has directed at me in the past. I hold no grudge.

John G. is a good guy, but this is bad job by you coach. Over scheduling.

(8) Jim Larranaga (George Mason) vs. (9) Mike Gillian (Longwood)

It’s one of those mentor-pupil clash.

MIKE GILLIAN: “It's nice to be bumped up to a 9 seed. If I get past him I should defeat Bru or Giannini so look out Sensational 16.”

Jimmy L is a great orator and while he couldn’t make the leprechaun disappear, he will certainly make Gillian vanish. Look out Sensational 16? Come on coach you had not shot in this contest.

(4) Trent Johnson (Stanford) vs. (13) Wayne Tinkle (Montana)

This is one of the most powerful matchups in terms of size and girth. My old pal Dave Magarity would call this a “Portly and Stout” affair. Trent is a really sharp guy, but Wayne might be the hidden gem of the field.

WAYNE TINKLE: “I am very excited about the 13 seed. Especially coming out of the Big Sky, which is obviously out of the mainstream. Trent Johnson is a tough first round match-up.”

Coach Tinkle brings a Carey Grant-George Clooney look to the floor. That’s a tough combination to beat. Trent couldn’t afford that second fashion technical. He got ejected and Tinkle advanced.

(5) John Thompson III (Georgetown) vs. (12) Tom Schuberth (Texas-Pan American)

JT 3 He makes it look easy. Schuberth has made great progress, but he is still in transition from assistant to head coach. In the end, UT-Pan American is simply too far removed from the fashion spots. Just a few miles from the border, it’s located farther south then any other DI program. That’s too much distance to compete with the District of Columbia.

TOM SCHUBERTH: “Don’t forget, there’s always those 12 vs.5 upsets. If the committee were to look into my closets and see my wardrobe, and don’t think I have one of the top 65 wardrobes in the country-then they are certifiably insane.”

A little piece of advice, saying people are “insane” (my postgame press conference ACC tournament) will not guarantee you a place in the tournament. In this case it won’t get you to the second round. Fit us all for straight jackets.

(2) Gary Waters (Cleveland State) vs. (15) Charles Ramsey (Eastern Michigan)

Initially I thought I would tab him as the Horizon League’s Bob McKillop, but Gary was crowned best-dressed in 2003. He’s an outstanding coach and among the elite in terms of style.

CHARLES RAMSEY: “I have no shot.”

Coach Ramsey is smooth, but he’s a newcomer to the tournament. Next year he will be more seasoned for the competition.

(7) Jim Les (Bradley) vs. (10) Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss)

Andy Kennedy has taken the chrome dome club to new heights. His approach to style is part classic and part funk. He combines that southern flair with one of the best domes in college basketball. You are on another level when you go with “0” guard on the clippers.

Jimmy Les has the NBA pedigree and is one of the better young coaches in America, but you can’t compete with the dome.

Bald is beautiful!

(3) Rick Barnes (Texas) vs. (14) Brad Stevens (Butler)

Rick Barnes is a Pitino clone who adds just a touch of Texas to his wardrobe.

BRAD STEVENS: “I am just happy to be involved. I probably deserve a 16-seed. I can't imagine Coach Barnes ever feeling better about winning a first-round matchup in March. Hopefully, Coach Greenburg will take it easy on me!”

Brad Stevens is a McKillop wannabe. He will be a challenger when he grows up. Is he old enough to vote? Great job this season Brad!

(6) Frank Haith (Miami) vs. (11) Gil Jackson (Howard)

Frank has totally embraced the South Beach style. He is always well-groomed. I would like to see him go with a fade. Go with the “No. 1” guard.

Gil has lots of style. I love the suspenders, but the South Beach element makes the difference here.
 

March 27, 2008

DAY 1: THE STYLE-IN CONTESTS
by Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech

Having advanced to the Fashionable 4 last season in Atlanta, I fully expected to once again be a part of the tournament in 2008. And while I have had my issues with the selection committee in the past, it is difficult to find the words to describe my initial reaction upon viewing the brackets.

Placing me in the style-in contest is an absolute joke. This contest is better suited for the likes of Bruiser “Mr. Fly” Flint (Drexel) or Tom “I got all my clothes from Jay Wright” Pecora (Hofstra). How is the world did those two non-dressers receive No. 1 seeds.

It’s a joke!

I understand that Jay Bilas will be providing insight and analysis on the Runway to the Fashionable 4. My question is why? Ordinarily an analyst is someone that is able to provide expertise on event he or she is covering. Bilas brings little to the table in terms of fashion sense. I really have to question his involvement here.

Glad to see my pal Bruce Pearl back in the field again, but body paint and orange sport coats will not get you very far in this dance. He should however cruise past Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee) in the opening round.

I have to say this field has a number of question marks. There are a number of guys in this year’s field that have no concept of fashion. I am guessing that the name ‘Bob Marlin’ (Sam Houston State) and the word ‘stylish’ never found their way into the same sentence.

John Thompson III (Georgetown) has stepped up a little bit, but I have to question the seeding. Better threads, but he still has his dad’s body.

Speaking of seeding, how about Kerry Keating (Santa Clara) getting a No. 3 seed. That’s comical. He’s the Jay Bilas of the field -- A lot of basketball knowledge with no fashion game.

I will have more thoughts on the both the head coach and assistant coach tournament fields on Friday. I also have reporters in the field speaking to the other competitors so we should have a lot of quotes leading into first full day of action on the runway.

Now let’s get to the results of Thursday’s style-in contests…

Sam Houston State has a representative in the style-in contest for the third straight year, with Jason Hooten representing the Bearkats.

Last year Neil Hardin defeated Gabe Rodriguez (Vermont). It was Hardin’s second straight win in the tournament opener. In 2006 he surprised Scott Wagers (East Tennessee State). Coach Wagers was so embarrassed he recruited a new tailor and strolled all the way to the Fashionable 4 in Atlanta in 2007.

This year it’s Coach Hooten who was embarrassed. He was beaten badly by Darren Kohne (Central Michigan).

As for the head coach contest, I have lot of love for my brother Brad, but he really had no chance here.

Did you really think I was going to lose this matchup. Pitino is next.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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